Archive | December 2004

Susan Sontag dies

Susan Sontag has died. She was 71. Although she did write several novels it will be her essays for which Sontag will be best remembered.

During my time at and following Uni I was exposed to several Sontag works but the one which had most resonance was her essay on the romaticisation and demonisation of disease, Illness as Metaphor. I read it at a time when cancer had reared its head in our family and I found it helped me more than any medical or self-help book.

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Catching up

Have been on holidays (and suffering through a frustrating lack of broadband!) so a few links to catch up:

  • The ABC favourite books were announced. Was mildly disappointed to see Lord of the Rings was allegedly the nation’s favourite book and that my choice didn’t even make it to the Top 100. At least Margaret Pomeranz agreed with me and Mary Kostakidis yet again proved that she is the thinking-person’s sex symbol by nominating Ulysses. (But what did Maxine McKew select…?)
  • It’s the time of the year for lists, lists and more lists so if you are interested check out Abebooks Years End lists. The top selling new and used books list makes depressing reading but it is heartening to see that someone was willing to fork out over $25000 for Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiment.
  • Read Ben Macintyre on why the library will survive, and thrive, in the digital age. He is oh so right when he says “locating a book online is one thing, reading it is quite another, for there is no aesthetic substitute for the physical object”.